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Botafogo enter last four

Botafogo goalscorers, Rafael Fonseca (left) and Bruno Medeiros, on Monday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Botafogo FC scored twice and squandered several other opportunities in their win over Southern Samity in the IFA Shield match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Monday.

Rafael Silva Fonseca struck the opener in the 67th minute and Bruno Ferreira Medeiros netted the other in the 72nd minute to give the Brazilian side a much-deserved victory.

Botafogo thus advanced to the last-four stage of the tournament with an all win record from group B. They will face Prayag United SC in the semi-final on Wednesday.

Compared to their last match against Chirag United Kerala, Botafogo played better football on Monday.

Their players enjoyed more ball possession and played numerous passes in the midfield to build the attack.

Aware that their defence was weak, their midfielders did a good job by keeping the Southern Samity players at bay.

Southern Samity might consider themselves unlucky when referee Andrew Shekar denied a penalty after Suroj Mondal was fouled in the 16th minute.

Playing in a 4-5-1 formation, Botafogo midfielders created numerous openings for Vinicius Alves Durante, the lone striker. But he was off the target most of the time and coach Felipe Arantes changed his strategy. Willian Alves de Oliviera, playing in the central midfield, was told to partner the lone striker upfront.

Botafogo finally scored in the 67th minute when Rafael’s left-footer found the back of the net from the edge of the box. The angular shot foxed Avijit who thought the defenders would have cleared the ball.

In the 72nd minute, Avijit fisted away a powerful Durante right-footer. But Bruno was at the right place at the right time to prod the ball home.

TEAMS

Botafogo: Milton Raphael Pires, Wallace Teixeira Correa, Alex Lopes, Rafael Fonseca, Ulisses Soares, Bruno Medeiros, Joao Fernandes, Ramon Teixeira, Weverton Veiga, Vinicius Alves Durante, Willian Olveira,

Southern Samity: Abhijit Ghosh, Rajib Ahmed (Habibur Rahman 82’), Gour Naskar, Celestine, Mriganka Sharma, Lalrinfela (Zico Zoremsanga 75’), Debayan Saha, Jamir Ali Mondal (Nilendra Dewan 59’), Sovon Chakraborty, Suraj Mondal, Alfred.

Referee: Andrew Sekhar

MoM: Bruno Medeiros